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Old 12-19-2005, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default How to create good sound files

Right, here's a little guide to how I go about recording a decent audio file. If you get confused at anything, please don't hesitate to post your query in this thread and I'll update the tutorial as I go along.

Right, this first thing you need is a decent mic. You really don't know how good your standard PC mic is until you record something in to test it. Either you've got the right kit to record sounds in or you haven't, I don't want to start advising people on what to buy, cos it just starts getting to expensive, just make sure you've got something that you can get a decent, clear signal with.

When I say clear signal, I mean there isn't too much background noise or 'hum' in the track once you've recorded it. You might want to minimise the amount of sound in your tracks by closing up doors and windows in the room your in (basic stuff eh?) and maybe placing a blanket or something over your machine to dampen the sound of the fan.

A technique I use when recording is to speak to the side of the mic, not directly into it. This avoids this popping sounds that you sometimes get when saying 'P' words directly into the mic.

When recording, make sure that you get a nice loud level and that you speak loudly and clearly. Also, make sure your sound levels don't peak, making the sound cut off and distort because it's too loud. When you look at the sound wave in your editing suite, you'll notice that it reaches a maximum volume and just stops, flattening off the top of your sound file. This is VERY bad, you've got to avoid it.

I'm not going to go to much into details about this because it's simply to wide an area to cover in a tutorial like this, but I will mention a few things.

Try not to substituate a bad recording by putting loads of hiss reduction and normalising filters over it, because unless you really no how to use them, they're just going to ruin your track even more.

Try and increase the gain of your track so that the sound is of an appropriate level, there's nothing worse than it just being too quiet.

Be aware of what the various filters are doing to the quality of your track, you might find that your sacrificing clarity for a cheap effect if you're not careful.

Ambience is nice to add to any track and I think should be used on most things, but only in moderation. A little bit of reverb can give your voice/SFX warmth and realism, too much can just sound naff.

Now, you should record your files in 48000 Khz sample rate, this is just the standard CD quality sample rate (Correction: This is standard Video sound rate, CD is 44000Khz. Oh well, 48000 is still what you should be recording in!). It's not gonna be a crying shame if you don't, but it's always good to start of with a good quality sample.

I always save my files as both a .wav file and a .mp3 file. The .wav is for me to keep, in case I need to add over filters or change the sound file, the .mp3 is to send to the modder who requested it to use. When saving to .mp3 format, the sample rate you choose will depend on the size. It will vary from person to person what size they mind the file being, but I would try and stick with a standard 92 kps, which is reasonably good quality and a nice low file size.

I've probably missed loads of stuff out there or got things wrong, so please feel free to correct, to question, to whatever in this thread.

I hope this was helpful,

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Old 12-20-2005, 09:08 AM   #2
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I have nothing to correct, I only want to thank you for doing this. ^^b
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:34 PM   #3
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- Stay away from CRTs or turn them off as they put out a lot of EM noise
- A little compression goes a long way on human voices
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:56 PM   #4
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I got something to add that is incredibly useful and I do all the time:
Sound compression:
To compress a sound (make it smaller) go to start > programs > accessories > entertainment > sound recorder. Open the sound file. Click properties > convert now. I convert in PCM format, but you can mess with others if you want. The more the compression the lower the size, but it can lose quality. A good compression I tend to use without loss of quality but good size reduction is 22.050 khz, 8 bit, mono 21 kb/sec.

Last edited by illidan92 : 10-19-2006 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:40 AM   #5
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this is great for anyone who needs to know about sound files. But to add one more thing, if a music file is too big, make sure its an mp3 and use a converter to lower the audio bit rate. it helps to make the map a lot smaller. (you may lose a little music quality but if you dont turn the bit rate down too much there wont be much difference)
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:54 AM   #6
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Sometimes the larger files we have the higher quality sound we own,
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